Rest Mutore, Sports Reporter
WARRIORS midfielder Marvelous Nakamba has promised to ‘give everything’ and get positive results for the back-to-back 2021 Afcon qualifiers against Botswana and Zambia next week.
Zimbabwe host the Zebras of Botswana at the National Sports Stadium on November 15 at 6pm before travelling to face Zambia’s Chipolopolo four days later.
And speaking to Aston Villa ahead of their Premier League trip to Wolves on Sunday, Nakamba said he is proud to represent his country.
“International break next week and Zimbabwe we are playing Botswana at home then Zambia away, back home people really look up to the national team.
“And of course for me It’s something I’m proud of, representing my country, also I will be very proud to go and represent my country and also to give everything and hopefully we get the positive results,” said Nakamba.
The midfield workhorse, who has endeared himself with the Claret and Blue faithful, said the desire is to qualify for the Afcon finals.
Zimbabwe participated at this year’s finals that was hosted by Egypt in June and admitted they did not do well.
Then under former coach Sunday Chidzambwa, the Warriors managed a single draw against Uganda and lost to Egypt and DR Congo to get eliminated at the group stage.
Zimbabwe are yet to go beyond the group stage in all the four previous appearances – in 2004, 2006, 2017 and 2019 – and Nakamba is looking forward to another Afcon finals dance for a possible change of script for the country.
“We were at Afcon, of course we didn’t achieve what we wanted to achieve. Then now it’s time again to fight for the qualification for the next Africa Cup of Nations.
“I think we need to start well because it will be the first match for the qualification against Botswana and then after we have Zambia, it’s not so easy matches,” he said.
The former Club Brugge player said with the current crop of players, they have a chance to qualify despite being in a difficult group.
Champions Algeria complete Group H of the qualifiers with the top two teams making the trip to Cameroon in June 2021.
“With this group of players, I think we can,” said Nakamba.
Warriors coach Joey Antipas has named a 32-man provisional squad for the two matches which he included a number of Europe-based players.
While there have been concerns over passports for most of the players, there is hope that Charlton Athletic marksman Macauley Bonne and Bolton Wanderers defender Adam Chicksen’s papers will be ready before the games.
Some of the players in squad who are doing well at their respective clubs include Marshal Munetsi, Tinotenda Kawedere, Teenage Hadebe, Alec Mudimu and Khama Billiat.
Captain Knowledge Musona also makes a return having been sidelined for the 2022 World Cup qualifier against Somalia in September.